Students taking Water to Striking Teachers in Chengdu
Hundreds of teachers in private schools in the Chinese city of Chengdu went on strike last week
The teachers work for former state schools which are now owned by the Derui Group whose chairman Yan Yude is one of the richest men in China. Teachers in the school have not had a pay rise since the company took over the schools in 2002. The highest paid teachers in the schools only earn $368 per month - much less than comparable teachers in the state sector.Not only is the pay very low but the working conditions are awful. Teachers are having to work in unsafe buildings and rats are infesting the air conditioning system. Pupils are supporting their teachers - partly because they are good teachers but also because they feel they are badly treated themselves - having to pay about $75 for 20 days of substandard food.
The chairman Yang Yude said he was unworried by the teachers' strike since 'thousands of teachers were queuing up to take the jobs.' The millionaire's wife accused the teachers of being low quality and not fit to teach.
Previous posts on this site detail strikes by teachers against privatisation as well as a wave of strikes across China for decent salaries in the state sector.